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WATCH: Chris Carter Discusses Synths
The Quietus , December 10th, 2012 09:28

Watch extended video interview with Throbbing Gristle/X-TG/Carter Tutti's Chris Carter, by makers of upcoming film I Dream Of Wires

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Chris Carter: IDOW Extended Interview #9 from I Dream Of Wires on Vimeo.

The team behind I Dream Of Wires, an upcoming documentary about the modular synthesiser currently in production (directed by Robert Fantinatto), have recently been putting together a series of extended interview videos with pioneering synth musicians. The interviews, which have included the likes of Carl Craig and Richard Devine, are available to view on the IDOW Vimeo - click here.

This week they've released their latest, which is with Chris Carter of Throbbing Gristle/X-TG and Chris & Cosey. You can watch the film, where he talks about building his own DIY electronics during the early days of Throbbing Gristle, selling his entire modular set-up around the turn of the millennium, and the current hybrid nature of his new set-up, via the embed above. In the film-makers' words, he discusses "his long history with DIY electronics, modular synthesisers, and the role they've played in his storied musical career," and discusses how he uses modern eurorack modular synth modules and tabletop FX units "to create a present day, cutting edge revision of his early Throbbing Gristle set up."

I Dream Of Wires is, say its makers, "an upcoming documentary exploring the phenomenal resurgence of the modular synthesizer. Invented in the 1960s, the modular synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument like no other; requiring the user to build sounds from scratch with an array of individual “modules”: esoteric devices with names like oscillator, filter, envelope generator, amplifier, ring modulator, and white noise. Connecting modules together with patch cables, like a gigantic telephone switchboard, the adventurous musician becomes a scientist of sound; creating infinite timbres, textures and musical tones.

"I Dream of Wires will give viewers a glimpse into one of the fastest growing and most innovative fields of music technology; a field driven largely by small inventors and manufacturers - employing sometimes innovative, often imitative, largely analog designs - delivering the authentic vintage sounds that so many musicians crave. Also, see how the world of modular synthesis is expanding in weird and wonderful ways, with several developers integrating cutting edge digital technology, for new, hybrid sounds that modular synthesists are only just beginning to explore. These strange new modules and interfaces are creating sounds that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Today, the modular synthesizer is no longer an esoteric curiosity or even a mere music instrument - it is an essential tool for radical new sounds, and a bonafide subculture."

For more information on I Dream Of Wires, head across to their website.

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Post-Punk Monk
Dec 10, 2012 3:13pm

The Analog Renaissance has been too long a time in coming. Bring it on! I've suffered through over a quarter century of anemic digital synthesis. By the 90s I realized it was the technology as much as the musicians that were letting me down as I gravitated to pre-Live Aid music for solace. I don't care how easy it is to play and record a digital synth. Anything worth doing well is worth taking the time and sweat to do right. Leave digital synthesis to the Biebers of the world, who deserve it richly.
For further ruminations on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

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Dec 11, 2012 2:31am

In reply to Post-Punk Monk:

Nothing wrong with digital synths. Nothing wrong with analogue either. I'll never understand this desire for purity. use what works for you.

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Rory Gibb
Dec 11, 2012 10:03am

In reply to Post-Punk Monk:

To be fair, Chris points out in the video strongly that it's not about being an analogue purist - it's about using both analogue and digital technology as and when it's appropriate for best effect. A lot of best electronic music at the moment is coming from people that are happy flitting between the two (and the newly fortified Chris & Cosey material they've been playing live lately with a new set up of gear is absolutely ferocious)

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Dec 19, 2012 10:44am

shame vimeo is such a piece of crap and never works

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